Beneath Albright's office, the colliery sprawled across the hillside, red brick buildings scattered as though hurled from a great height, a hotchpotch of mismatched structures spattered on the valley floor. At the bottom stood the winding house, wheels motionless, above it, the engineering sheds and workshops, canteen and bath house. All lay empty. No buzz and hum of machinery. No voices raised in laughter or dispute. Gwyn found it unsettling: his lads had been out a month and a half and already the power had drained from the place. In the stillness, he caught the echo of footsteps. The crunch of boots on gravel. Generations of long-gone Pritchards clocking in and out. He was bound to Blackthorn by the coal that clogged his veins and by a bond of duty. The strike left him as diminished as his pit, day dragging after idle day.